Saturday, January 20, 2007

Speaking of Cold Turtles....

Nancy Marsden and Scarlet Colley rescued a cold-stunned Atlantic Green turtle from waters over by Pelican Station yesterday. Hurray for them! Let's all chip in with some warmies for these guys today! I for one have several frayed towels that I could not bring myself to just throw away as well as some old blankets taking up space in my storeroom. Sea Turtle Inc. could really use them right now, as well as volunteers.

And I ask again --when is the sun supposed to come back out?

UPdate: I stopped by STI and snapped a few pics. They are a bit overwhelmed there with new turtles being reported as well as a lot of web traffic generated by the AP story. Would be really nice if some of those visitors would hit the "donation button" while they are there. STI has a lot of new patients that need meds and other supplies that are straining the organization's resources. Donate here!

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Blogger Sam said...

we found a bunch of old blankets and towels - but I tell ya, there are 12 airboats out there blowing up the bay to look for oil and gas, and that can't be a very good thing for the poor turtles today. /Sam

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish I could be there to help the turtles.

We havene't seen sun in DFW for about 2-weeks. It's darn depressing. The bright side is that Texas is getting some much needed rain. The lakes are filling back up.

I'm seriously considering purchasing a sun-lamp to combat the gloom. Is this what it's like to live in England?

Where are ya Mr. Sun?

11:13 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Word on the street is we're up to about 50 turtles now, mostly the Green. If you have a boat and find some stunned turtles, take them by Sunset (Polaris Street Landing) or Ted's (Clipper Street Landing) and be sure to call ahead for pickup. They will try to meet you there.
(956) 761-4511 Sea Turtle Inc.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We drove up and down Boca Chica Beach today (Sunday) - didn't see any turtles, yeah!

There sure is a lot of drilling activity all along the road to the beach by World Wide Drilling Company - what is the deal? Airboats, Monster trucks, dynamite!!! And the sound of those airboats, can't beleive people are not complaining, cause I am. I live on beach side and could here those boats this am around 7:30. The nicest thing about the winter on the island is the silence (no AC), but not anymore. Seems like nobody knows who they are, what they are doing, and what effect they will have. Who approves this type of activity? The State? Does the island have a representative at these meetings?

We left Fort Worth to get away from the oil companies and all that they bring - if you are not aware, FW is where the Barnett Shale discovery is, and is the newest and largest natural gas play in Texas -you don't want that to happen here. The environment suffers greatly for the profit of a few.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

The TX General Land Office has a grant program to help survey the Texas coastline for minerals, most likely oil & gas here. They had to spend the money or lose it is what I heard. The contractor might just do the work and turn over the results, or sell advanced surveys (3 and 4-D) to drilling companies. The local GLO contact is Steve Buschane up in Corpus Christi.

This area down here was never fully surveyed for hydrocarbon deposits. A company called BNP did some work up by Padre National Seashore and is operating there. Offshore ten miles we have another operator who was able to install a large pipeline to gather the product (some may remember the huge drill ship off the coast several years ago). Now the local oil & gas is no longer "stranded" for lack of pipelines, everyone wants in the game.

And having a underground seismic survey is the first step.

No, we weren't consulted although some Islanders are fairly irate about all this. I suppose one could give Mr. Jerry Patterson, GLO Commissioner, a piece of mind if you wanted to.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just spent all afternoon down at the Coastal Studies Lab where they had brought in 110 "cold stunned" turtle and some with other injuries
(one was passing a large plastic bag!). 5 were DOA and one was pronounced dead just before I left.

They have now transported about 60 of them to a heated warehouse at the Port of Brownsville.

They still need quilts and blankets, and donations for medical supplies and plastic pools.

More turtles will continue to come in as they are found and especially with a new cold front coming in on Tuesday. They will need volunteers all week. Come on Islanders, go pitch in.

If you call Sea Turtle, Inc. before you go, they will give your name to the toll booth and you will not be charged to enter Isla Blanca.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I talked with Mary over at Sea Turtle Inc (Mary Ann Tous?) and she reiterated that they really need cash at this time. This allows them to buy whatever they need on the spot, especially medecine.

Anonymous, thanks for volunteering your time. I spent 2-3 hours transporting 36 critters last night.

Mary also said she was impressed by how the locals pulled together, with major donations from all over the slate (and all over the State) including Wal-Mart. Dolphin Watch worked with the local "mosquito fleet" to bring in 20 or so today. Somebody might recognize these folks later when the emergency is over, since the list will be quite long. They will need help all the way until the turtles are brought back into the bay - days or weeks or months is the question.

Water temperatures have warmed significantly from previous recordings of 46-51. It is up to 56 right now by the Port Isabel monitoring station. The NOAA weather forecast looks fairly depressing for the next 7 days, nothing into the 30's but not warming, either.

Anybody have some more turtle stories from the 2007 Cold Snap?

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard more today about what Sam mentioned at the beginning of this thread. Airboats in the bay setting off explosions so they can drill for oil and gas. Imagine what that will do to fishing, turtles and dolphins, not to mention the residents who live on the bayside. The guy I talked to today says it will also damage pilings and foundations. Don't now if that's true, but that's what he said. Talk about a need for a grass roots effort to stop it! This could have a dramactic effect on our eco-tourism as well as the environment and creatures which live in the bay.
Surfriders - Are you interested in mounting another protest? People don't know about this.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Umm, this seismic survey thang is supposed to continue for the entire month of February and includes everything on the beach and bayside from the border to Mansfield Cut.

I have not felt any dynamite charges as yet - I think that is later in the process after laying down the sensor grid and packing the charges in a few holes.

If you are in a bay boat, please be careful because those white PVC poles can whap your boat and nick your props, and are very difficult to see. Those poles means there's a charge hole ready for dynamite. The dynamite is similar to quarry blasting with a small TNT charge but an underwater blasting cap.

My point is that the GLO and the contractor could have done a better job of communicating "what the heck is going on." The town and county officials I have talked with are completely clueless are you or me. There was no newspaper notification.

Before groups start wanting to roast the GLO for allowing this to happen, consider that the GLO is a HUGE source of money for beach clean-ups, renourishment, and millions of dollars over the years. This is a sticky situation at best.

I do think this calls for increased communication, however, and that is a valid point. I think we need a regional plan and know what the heck is going on! /Sammie

8:27 PM  

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